Browsing: Chamber Music

Can there be anyone even casually aware of contemporary serious music who hasn’t encountered the Kronos Quartet? For 48 years, their sounds have ­resonated outward, along with the sonority of that mythic-sounding moniker that seems to evoke ­titanic energies, even the mystery of time itself. And while their music was suspended by COVID-19’s near universal freezing-over of time, a rising thaw now brings Kronos-­redivivus – active again, alive as ever. Origins The Kronos origin story dates to 1972, with an adventitious encounter between a young ­musician named David Harrington and a ­certain provocative piece of music. “I heard this music…

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Have you heard Régent Levasseur’s enchanting Farewell to the Warriors? The Orchestre classique de Montréal (OCM) presents it as part of its 82nd season, titled Women of Distinction, with the remarkable 18-minute concerto for string orchestra, harp and drum, in an orchestration by the versatile melodist. Tara-Louise Montour recorded the piece with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the work earned the ensemble a Juno nomination (2005). “I am delighted that the OCM invited me into the program of Tales and Melodies, the first concert of its season, and I think that Farewell to the Warriors will fit in perfectly, firstly because of…

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The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), a pillar in the Canadian contemporary music scène,  will celebrate its 55th year with Merveilleuses utopies and Célébration! on Dec. 14 and 15 in Salle Pierre-Mercure. Turning toward both the past and the future, the SMCQ will pay tribute to the musical legacy of the artists who marked the history of the organization while inviting the public to discover some of the new faces of contemporary creation. In Merveilleuses utopies, presented in a diptych format, the Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens de Montréal (OPMEM) will perform some daring pieces for large ensemble by…

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The appearance of oboist Albrecht Mayer and pianist Fabian Müller had to be rescheduled because of the pandemic. Now that health measures allow the public to attend events and make possible the return of international artists, this pair will open the concert society’s new season. “Pieces for piano solo and others specifically for oboe or wind instrument such as Schumann’s Fantasiestücke will be played in turn, and there will also be transcriptions,’ explains Marie Fortin, executive and artistic director of the Club musical de Québec since 2013. “Two sonatas for violin and piano, by Mozart and Beethoven, will be played…

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Forewarned is forearmed. “There will be no interval,” reads the audience advisory for the Festival Bach Montréal presentation in Bourgie Hall of The Art of Fugue. 
 Montrealers, of course, are now accustomed to pandemic protocols that require sitting for 80 minutes without a break. But sitting through the 14 movements (each known formidably as a “contrapunctus”) of Bach’s valedictory composition is a special kind of sitting, even when the performers on Nov. 25 are Les Violons du Roy under their founding conductor Bernard Labadie, who supplies the arrangement. “No doubt a rigorous work, but also one equally touching and…

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Les Boréades de Montréal will return to normal – or almost – with a season of four programs. One is based on Mozart’s youthful opera arias, another on Bach brevis masses. There are two intimate concerts: flute duets traversing the classical period and works of French chamber music from the end of the reign of Louis XIV. “We are making our comeback with the same excitement and inventiveness,” says Francis Colpron, founder and artistic director of the ensemble. He hopes that the public will be at the Église Saint-Laurent on Oct. 29 to savour the opera arias of Mozart’s youth.…

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Music administrators and music critics usually exist in a cordially adversarial relationship. Few administrators were as cordially, warmly and inventively adversarial as Lotte Brott (1922-98), the woman who for decades ran the McGill Chamber Orchestra. This ensemble, now called the Orchestre classique de Montréal, has decided to organize its 2021-22 season around the theme of Women of Distinction as a recognition of the looming centenary – on Feb. 8 – of its iron-willed matriarch. While Mrs. Brott was best known to insiders as the administrative power behind the podium occupied by her husband Alexander Brott (1915-2005), she was also a…

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This section is an advertising supplement. To announce here, contact [email protected] Sound Visionaries Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano Navona Records, NV6358 Release Date: July 9, 2021 Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, and Pierre Boulez are stunningly reconciled in Christina Petrowska Quilico’s Navona Records release Sound Visionaries. Boasting a track record of over 50 recorded albums and having recently been named to the Order of Canada, the veteran pianist proves that despite all difficulties, finding common ground between these three composers can be done spectacularly. The works in question are cleverly chosen: Debussy’s ethereal Preludes, Book Two is…

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New edition of the CIOC… at last! The Canadian International Organ Competition is making a comeback after more than four years. Scheduled for last year, the event, which takes place every three years in October, had to be postponed because of the pandemic. After 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017, this is therefore the fifth edition of the CIOC and the first with Jean-Willy Kunz as artistic director. More than a competition, this is a real festival that extends throughout the month. There will be concerts by some members of the jury from Oct. 13, the day before the first semi-final…

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They have not been led by their conductor, Jonathan Cohen, since the start of the pandemic. Thus the spirit of a reunion will prevail on Sept. 22, when Les Violons du Roy present their first concert of the season at the Palais Montcalm. There will be a reunion also with the French soprano Sandrine Piau, who sang for the first time with this Quebec City chamber orchestra in 2003. “She was to give a gala concert with us in April 2020,” explains Les Violons artistic director Laurent Patenaude. “This will be our first guest from abroad since the…

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